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a bitter-leaved wild-olive, once had grown,
to Faunus dear, and venerated oft
by mariners safe-rescued from the waves,
who nailed their gifts thereon, or hung in air
their votive garments to Laurentum's god.
But, heeding not, the Teucrians had shorn
the stem away, to clear the field for war.
'T was here Aeneas' lance stuck fast; its speed
had driven it firmly inward, and it clave
to the hard, clinging root. Anchises' son
bent o'er it, and would wrench his weapon free,
and follow with a far-flung javelin
the swift out-speeding foe. But Turnus then,
bewildered and in terror, cried aloud:
“O Faunus, pity me and heed my prayer!
Hold fast his weapon, O benignant Earth!
If ere these hands have rendered offering due,
where yon polluting Teucrians fight and slay.”
He spoke; invoking succor of the god,
with no Iost prayer. For tugging valiantly
and laboring long against the stubborn stem,
Aeneas with his whole strength could but fail
to Ioose the clasping tree. While fiercely thus
he strove and strained, Juturna once again,
wearing the charioteer Metiscus' shape,
ran to her brother's aid, restoring him
his own true sword. But Venus, wroth to see
what license to the dauntless nymph was given,
herself came near, and plucked from that deep root
the javelin forth. So both with lofty mien
strode forth new-armed, new-hearted: one made bold
by his good sword, the other, spear in hand,
uptowered in wrath, and with confronting brows
they set them to the war-god's breathless game.
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